Celebrity Ambassador or Marketing Genius?
Working with gin, mobiles wireless companies and dating apps, he really has done it all. But what makes his campaigns go viral, and what makes them so entertaining?
Well, he has the Ryan Reynolds name against these products. Of course that helps. But he taps into the basics of viral marketing. His campaigns are funny, self aware and make the brand look good. That’s it.
Humour builds authenticity
We all know 2020 was a hell of a year. Reynold’s production company, Maximum Effort, created a hilarious commercial that featured Satan using Tinder to meet someone special. Spoiler alert, she is called 2020. Cut to scenes of Satan and 2020 stealing loo roll set to ‘Love Story,’ it’s a genuinely funny and clever ad.
Using humour in advertising is a tried and tested strategy to make sure their campaign is memorable and generates results. Tinder has a reputation for its hook-up culture, but Reynolds in this ad manages to help build a more meaningful relationship (see what we did there) with its target audience. People have certainly warmed to Tinder more recently, especially during the pandemic and this ad has hit all the right notes in line with changes in the dating scene over the past two years.
Self awareness reduces sterility
There are a lot of ads out there that use celebrity ambassadors. Problem is, if you interchanged a celeb in a sponsored ad, you probably wouldn’t even notice a difference. Celebrity endorsement is a tricky thing to get right, especially when celebrities are given a script for a product. These ads can just sound false, sterile, and, well, boring.
Not Mint Mobile, however. Given the fairly unexciting service (sorry Mint Mobile), you’d be forgiven for thinking how a celebrity endorsement would even work for a telecommunications company that isn’t Apple. Reynolds leaned cleverly into this for Mint’s 5G launch. Standing in a field, he invites the head of mobile technology to explain what 5G really is. Reynolds listens, confusion evident on his face, before announcing ‘we may never know, so we’ll just give it away for free.’ It’s clever because there is an awareness from the supplier that the audience doesn’t care about the technical aspects, but they still want to use the service. If Ryan Reynolds is a customer, then we want to be a customer too.
The brand looks good
This is an important facet of any advertising campaign, but given that most adverts look good, humour and self awareness are more important when differentiating a brand in the marketplace. Sometimes aesthetics can cause lack of relatability to the audience, but Reynolds subverts this by putting ads within ads.
When promoting his film, Six Underground, Reynolds cleverly bought ad space for Aviation Gin. He was mock surprised when it appeared on the screen, which adds humour and nods to Reynold’s signature comedy style. He calls in contextual advertising, and it truly works. Aviation Gin looks good, and because it appears surprisingly within another ad, people don’t expect it and makes it memorable.
Ryan Reynolds has three components to his ads that make them go viral. They’re funny, they’re self aware and they look good. Just watch one of his ads and you can learn the secrets of great marketing too!